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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 22, 2009 11:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

* The Venture of Islam, 3 Volumes, by Marshall Hodgson (I read parts)

He died during volume 3 so not his completed work. Really kind of a definitive volume. What I relied on when I did graduate level Islamic studies and used extensively on courses in Islamic law (my law school "thesis" was on the concept of "riba" - the Islamic prohibition against interest. The old Deutronomic double standard re usury).

But what do I know?

Here's my main mentor for things Islamic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Lawrence

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jul 22, 2009 11:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

Don't think I ever read Bruce Lawrence; not an academic.

"Riba", the Islamic prohibition against interest, would seem good to understand now. Who really needs absentee speculation anyway.

I've read 'The Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence' by Mohammad Hashim Kamali and good chucks of stuff by Sherman Jackson, Wael Hallaq, Bernard Weiss, and Nicholas Heer et al, much of it in Hastings library.

I got really interested when I read John Makdisi's 'The Islamic Origins of the Common Law' in the North Carolina Law Review (1999). Makdisi and others think that several fundamental English common law institutions may have been derived or adapted from similar legal institutions in Islamic law and jurisprudence, and introduced to England after the Norman conquest of England by the Normans, who conquered and inherited the Islamic legal administration of the Emirate of Sicily.

His citations and very interesting as well and lead back to his father's work on the rise of colleges and humanism. It turns out oddly enough that rules of freedom of speech found in Islamic lands was prized by Europeans in the Middle Ages and they made steps to copy it.

I spent a lot of time on Islamic law because it was before the rise of the corporation, and I thinking of a larger comparative project, but never even reached the level of this good summary:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Comparisons_with_common_law

Wikipedia does miss important things on methodology though. The basic foundations of Islamic is brilliant, though we disagree with where the branches lead. Five operational principles central to the Islamic tradition are important:
• Trusting reason
• Respecting dissent
• Stressing societal obligation
• Setting priorities
• Embracing maxims

The legal maxims are very interesting:
• Matters will be judged by their purposes
• Certainty will not be overturned by doubt
• Harm must be removed
• Hardship must be alleviated
• Custom has the weight of law

I had long review article now lost, but there's more on the legal maxims here:
http://nawawi.org/downloads/article6.pdf

Anyway, I'm not a lawyer or yearning to learn Arabic so job, politics, music, etc crowded out that research branch. I don't have any reason to mention this stuff elsewhere so please excuse the outburst.

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jul 22, 2009 12:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

I've read that Muslims don't consider any country to be practicing Islamic law, so it's hard to judge what it really is.

For example some judges didn't think that all apostasy or theft were very serious. To be considered "a thief" you'd have to try hard often. I think the idea was that mercy and love are better, and safer for the judge on the day of judgment.

In the end there must be some middle roads where universals meet.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 22, 2009 1:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

Yea, many different schools of law (Hanafi, Maliki, etc with various branches within each school) as well as differences b/w various Sunnia/ Shi'a beliefs, etc. Not exactly a monolithic worldview. It's a bit different in Marrakesh than it might be in Cairo or Tehran or Islamabad or Jakarta or Lagos ....

Here's some kind of off/on-topic fun:

http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=27526

This post was modified by bluedevil on 2009-07-22 20:21:42

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 22, 2009 1:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

Here in Britain we already have Sharia courts operating in a quasi-legal capacity:

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article6609674.ece

Can't quite see it happening in the Land of the Free...

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 22, 2009 1:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

CRAP! Next thing I know, you'll try telling me our hero RT is some type of Sufi crazy mystic channeling guitar dervish. Then again, can one be a lapsed Sufi like a lapsed Catholic?

Then again, The Harder They Come ain't sung by a Rasta - Jimmy Cliff happens to be Muslim (as if it matters).